Thursday, June 22, 2006

You're Canceled!

I wish I could say that things are getting easier, but, if anything, it is the opposite. I think that right after C died, we were all so grateful that her suffering was over that we felt a sense of relief. In the days since, that balm of relief has faded and a true sense of loss has taken its place. While this is something natural and expected, it is a harder emotion to hold. I feel very fragile at this time. Tears come easily and unexpectedly. I have to be very careful not to snap at the children and I am not always successful.

There seem to be so many details that need to be worked out, forms to be filed. It feels overwhelming at times. Yesterday, I found out that our health insurance had been canceled. I was at the drive-up window at our local pharmacy to pick up a couple of prescriptions and was waiting for the clerk to get them. I had already sent my credit card in through the little pneumatic tube and was surprised when the tinny little speaker croaked to life and a very soft voice asked me to send in my insurance card as well.

I was so used to cruising up and picking up hundreds of dollars of drugs and supplies for C that I never thought that I would be questioned for more information. I complied and sent in the insurance card and settled back into my seat looking at the traffic that was stacking up behind me in the drive-thru lane.

I was shaken from my reverie by the little tin voice again when the anonymous clerk announced that the policy on the card had been canceled on June 1st.

There are few things that scare me more than having no health insurance. Those few simple words drove a spike of chilled steel right through my heart. I felt pinned to the car seat and unable to move or respond in a coherent manner to the not so patient voice on the other end of the drive-thru speaker.

I asked for my cards back and drove off, leaving the prescriptions and the line of supplicants behind me.

Upon arriving home, I called the customer service hot-line on the back of the now dead insurance card. I had to navigate through the now obligatory automated phone hell menu until I arrived at some queue where I was assured that my call was oh so important and not to hang up because the next available drone would help me soon – or so they promised.

When a human finally replaced the anonymously trendy muzak, she confirmed that the policy had indeed been canceled, though it appeared, erroneously. She said that she would correct that, but it would take 24 to 48 hours for the “paperwork” to clear. That would take care of us until July 1st at which time we would be duly and truly canceled unless we applied for “survivorship” benefits.

Now, I was starting to get miffed. “Wait” I protested. I was told by C’s employer that all of this was taken care of. Was there no application for these benefits already in the works? Apparently not said she.

Well, this led to lengthy and fruitless voicemail transfers, faxes, emails and follow-ups. After 24 hours of this, I think that we are in the survivorship queue with a “priority” flag, but given the screw-ups I have seen over the last three years of insurance hell, I am dubious.

So, here I sit with a stress level coded at alert “red” and a knot in my back that pains me fiercely. Tomorrow folks start to arrive for C’s memorial which will add to the stress level as we need to manage housing, food, transportation, and entertainment. I know, I shouldn’t worry about it and I wish I could follow my own advice, but I’m stuck with it.

This will pass, I know. But right now, I wish I could just slip into some other state.



Blogger lime said...

oh phaedrous! i felt that same steel spike just reading this. i am soooo sorry you have this insult added to injury. i sincerely hope that it all gets taken care of quickly.

7:45 AM, June 23, 2006  

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